September 11 witnessed new legislation for the use of Botox in the US – it is now legal to administer it to the fine lines around the eyes.

Up to now the Food and Drug Administration had only approved the cosmetic use of Botox for lines across the forehead and between the brows, however doctors have been using Botox in the treatment of lines around the eyes for a number of years.

The approval came after a study led by Allergan, the manufacturer of Botox, into its efficacy as an anti-ageing injectable. In a controlled group of 833 adults one half received Botox injections to the eye area and the other half received placebo injections to the same area. The group that received Botox displayed the most sign of a reduction of wrinkles.

Although Botox was being used by doctors ‘off-record’ in this way, the approval will mean better safeguards and guidelines. Dr Marco Harmaty, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, told that Botox has been used not only for crow’s feet for a number of years but also other unapproved parts of the face including creases by the side of the nose. However he also added:

“(It) does give you an added benefit and safety of saying that I’m not doing anything illegal or potentially harmful.”

The FDA approved Botox use for lines on the forehead in 2002.